Friday, May 18, 2012

Phils welcome Beantown to Philly

The BoSox are coming, the BoSox are coming!

Everyone circles Boston on the calendar when the schedule is first announced. They're a major draw around MLB, and this series will feature two underachieving and banged up last place teams.

The Phillies are in the midst of a season high five-game win streak, have pulled one game ahead of .500 and are just four games out of first. Boston is two games under .500, and are 6.5 games behind the AL East leading Baltimore.

Charlie Manuel found out he was suspended for one game resulting from his altercation with Bob Davidson. Davidson was also suspended one game by MLB for repeated violations of "situation handling," Both men will serve their suspensions tonight.

Jonathan Paplebon will face his former team for the first time. No doubt he'll be more than fired up to shut 'em down.

Placido Polanco is not in the lineup because of his bruised knee. He's available to hit, but can't play the field.

Bobby Valentine had said he was comfortable playing David Ortiz at first base and Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield. Big Papi is not in tonight's starting lineup though. He's likely to start tomorrow against righty Joe Blanton. Gozo is batting third and playing first base, while Villain Cody Ross is in right field and batting fourth. Former Phils Marlon Byrd is in center field, batting eighth.

Red-hot Carlos Ruiz stays in the five-hole, while Ty Wigginton will fill in at third base and bat sixth.

Cole Hamels (5-1, 2.28) is a remarkable 3-0 in his career against Boston with a 1.44 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 25 innings. Bard (3-4, 4.30) has pitched just 3.2 innings in relief against the Phillies. He has a 9.82 ERA with five strikeouts.


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